Skip to page body Home About Government Departments Services Visitors Residence Business
Mobile Access   |   Jobs   |   StarCam   |   Contact Us   |   540-853-2000   |  Employee

Department Picture




Child Protective ServicesThrough our CPS hotline, 853-2245, the department receives and screens calls alleging child abuse and/or neglect. A family services specialist responds to valid complaints by conducting investigations and family assessments. Prevention services may be offered when a valid complaint does not exist but where there are indications of family problems that could place the child at risk of future abuse, neglect, or foster care placement. Where indicated, risk assessments and safety plans are developed. Services are provided both directly by the family services specialists and by referral to other agencies. Additional information about Child Protective Services is available on the Virginia Department of Social Services web page.

Prevention Services - Our belief is that the family is the best environment for raising children. Keeping families together is our goal. The department offers prevention services to families who may be experiencing the following issues: homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse, or other personal or family stressors. Services are offered to parents who may be experiencing difficulties with children who may have special needs, including behavioral, emotional or other overwhelming needs. In addition to our regular staff, the Department of Social Services has two out-station prevention family services specialists who are located in offices at Villages at Lincoln and Jamestown Place subsidized housing projects. These prevention case managers work with families and their children who reside in these specific housing projects. Participation in prevention services is voluntary.

Foster Care Children are transferred to the legal custody of the DSS for the purpose of a temporary placement in an out-of-home setting. The courts may place a youth in foster care after finding that the child is abused and/or neglected, “in need of services” (CHINS), delinquent, or upon a parent’s petition for relief of custody. The family services specialists attempt to reunify the child with his/her family or to move the child into some other permanent placement. For older teenagers the department will help the youth prepare for transition to independent living. The department recruits and trains foster parents. Additional information about foster care and adoption is available on the Virginia Department of Social Services/Foster Care web site.

Adoption Children in foster care, for whom returning home or placing with a relative is not a viable alternative, are often placed for adoption. A family services specialists strives to match the child and prospective adoptive families to find a home that will meet the needs of the child. Support services are offered to help maintain the adoptive placement. A financial subsidy for the adoptive family is available in many cases. More information about Adoption is available on the Virginia Department of Social Services/Adoption web site.

Court Services The department conducts home studies for the juvenile and circuit courts to help the judges determine custody and visitation issues. The department’s family services specialists in the court services unit provide some mediation services in an effort to more amicably resolve custody disputes outside of the courtroom setting.

Child Care and Development The department determines eligibility for assistance with the costs of obtaining child care. TANF recipients who are employed or in the VIEW program, are eligible for this assistance. Child care assistance may also be provided on a fee system basis, if funds are available.

Adult Protective Services and Adult Services Through our hotline, 853-2245, complaints of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation are received and screened. Investigations are conducted, and when needed, services are offered to the adult. The department assists in the screening and placement of adults in nursing homes or assisted living centers. The implementation of home health care may also be facilitated. Additional information and brochures can be found on the Virginia Department of Social Services/Adult Services web site.

Services Intake Emergency assistance is offered, as funds are available, to assist citizens experiencing a temporary crises such as food shortages, utility cut-offs, and potential eviction. Clients are counseled about ways to resolve a variety of crisis problems that they face.